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Two Years Before the Mast - Chapters 5-8 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 5 bring Pilgrim to Cape Horn and violent storms in which Dana proves himself by helping furl the jib in great danger. West of the Cape they meet a whaler and see their last albatross. In Chapter 6, young George Ballmer is lost overboard and his death leaves a great hole. Dana hears at length the superstition that Finns are bad luck. In Chapter 7 Pilgrim visits Juan Fernández Is., of Robinson Crusoe fame. In Chapter 8 Dana describes preparations for landing in California, preparing to sell their cargo on-board, tarring the rigging, and painting the brig inside and out. Recrossing the equator and a working Christmas leave the crew irritable and on low rations. Dana and Stimson ask to move from steerage to the forecastle. Another Thompson harangue forever poisons relations with the crew. On 13 Jan. 1835 Pilgrim reaches Point Conception, 50 miles north of Santa...

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